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Transport for London says Uber is “not fit and proper” to operate in the capital

PUBLISHED: 12:07 22 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:27 22 September 2017

Stock photo of an Uber sign. The ride-hailing app will not be able to operate in London after September 30 after its licence was not renewed. Photo: Laura Dale/PA Wire

Stock photo of an Uber sign. The ride-hailing app will not be able to operate in London after September 30 after its licence was not renewed. Photo: Laura Dale/PA Wire

Uber will no longer run services in London after September 30 following the city’s transport authority’s decision not to renew its private hire operator licence.

Transport for London said the ride-hailing app was “not fit and proper” to operate in the capital due to concerns which have “public safety and security implications”.

These include its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and how it carries out background checks on its drivers.

It means Uber, which was given just a four-month temporary licence in May, will not be able to operate in the city once its current licence expires at the end of the month.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said in a statement: “I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service.

“However, all companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect – particularly when it comes to the safety of customers. Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.”

Labour MP Wes Streeting, chairman of the all party parliamentary group on taxis, said it was a “courageous decision” which made it clear that “no company, however big and powerful, will be allowed to flout our laws and regulations or jeopardise Londoners’ safety without facing serious consequences”.

But Uber, which is used by 3.5 million people and 40,000 drivers in London, hit back, saying it would appeal and claiming the move “would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”.

Tom Elvidge, the firm’s general manager in London, said: “By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice. If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.”

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